Last Roses of Summer ~ jam recipes

rose 1

As autumn approaches, my garden is preparing for one final flourish before Day of the Dead (in Seattle that’s, aptly, The End…when my last marigolds will succumb to too much damp, the few remaining roses ‘forget’ to open fully, and quince stragglers, brown, soft and vinegary, lie on the ground).

In these late-August days, I’m thinking ahead: I need to make one more batch of fig-leaf syrup (my Desert King fig tree is so happy it’s two stories high, its leaves bigger than my head) and plan this year’s assorted quince treats: savory, sweet and alcoholic. Our Russian quince tree (Aromatnaya) has so much fruit I’ll be donating some to a pig sanctuary and a weed-chomping, underbrush-clearing goat herd. I’ll also make the final batches of rose jam.

I didn’t grow up eating roses…

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Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

The new unisex

But independent perfumers are now bringing back the rose in all its glory, liberating it from the delicate bottles and coquettish reputation to prove that giant, heady rose can be a powerhouse on men and women alike. Rose — the scent of passion, of love, of dulcet longing — is the new unisex.

— Read more at In Fragrance, Rose Is the New Unisex at The New York Times.

Maria Candida Gentile Rrose Selavy ~ fragrance review

Belle Haleine Eau de Voilette

“Rrose Sélavy, the feminine alter ego created by Marcel Duchamp, is one of the most complex and pervasive pieces in the enigmatic puzzle of the artist’s oeuvre. She first emerged in portraits made by the photographer Man Ray in New York in the early 1920s, when Duchamp and Man Ray were collaborating on a number of conceptual photographic works. Rrose Sélavy lived on as the person to whom Duchamp attributed specific works of art, Readymades, puns, and writings throughout his career. By creating for himself this female persona whose attributes are beauty and eroticism, he deliberately and characteristically complicated the understanding of his ideas and motives.” 1

The name “Rrose Sélavy,” interpreted/translated in at least two ways: “Eros, c’est la vie” (eros, that’s life) and “Arroser la vie” (to drink to life or, more sensually, to moisten life, as in arousal), is niche perfumer Maria Candida Gentile’s toast to Marcel Duchamp and his female (drag) creation, Rrose Sélavy. As perfume inspirations go, it’s intriguing and FUN — just like Gentile’s Elephant & Roses idea…

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Grace by Grace Coddington ~ fragrance review

Grace Coddington drawing

Way back in 2009, my friend A. and I went to see “The September Issue,” a documentary film about Vogue magazine and its influential (and infamous) editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. If you’d grabbed me on the way out of the theater and asked me to review the film in one line, I’d have said, “Go for Anna, but stay for Grace.” Grace Coddington, creative director of Vogue, was the movie’s surprise star — she impressed us with her imagination and her commitment to her work and she reminded us why we’re bewitched and inspired by fashion despite ourselves.

Coddington (now Vogue’s Creative Director at Large) has just collaborated with Comme des Garçons on a fragrance called Grace by Grace Coddington. This scent was inspired by Coddington’s “love of English roses”…

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Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Rosa Excelsa ~ fragrance review

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Rosa Excelsa

Dolce & Gabbana has just launched Dolce Rosa Excelsa, a new floral fragrance for women. Dolce Rosa Excelsa is the second flanker to 2014’s Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana, following 2015’s Dolce Floral Drops. This time around, the bottle is blush pink with a deep red cap. The rose-inspired fragrance includes top notes of neroli leaves, papaya flower, white water lily and white daffodil; heart notes of Turkish rose and African Dog rose; and base notes of musk, cashmeran and sandalwood.

This happens again and again, and I never learn. Some upscale fashion brand releases a new rose fragrance, and I get my hopes up, despite the accumulated experience of the past decade, and then I try it and I’m disappointed…

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